Almost 110 years have passed since the world is celebrating the International Women’s Day. Women still need to go a long way for achieving the gender parity and recognition as the equal citizens of this world.Rise in the movements like MeToo and TimesUp make it evident that issues like sexual harassment which are a by-product of women’s objectification pose a major challenge. Even the theme for International Women’s Day 2018 which is #PressforProgress doesn’t fully capture the essence of movement for equal rights for the female gender. The theme should be better termed as #DebunktheMyths, because most of the problems in the women’s life are due to prevalent misconceptions and stereotypes about their gender.
Here are the issues that need a genuine attention on International Women’s Day 2018
Unequal Representation of Women
It is a fact that women are making their presence felt in every field. They are making marvelous achievements in the sports, science, politics, entertainment and other walks of life. But unfortunately, they are facing an under-representation in all the professions. Gender disparity is also one of the major global risks that world is facing in 2018 according to World Economic Forum’s report. The women population around the globe is roughly equal to that of men. According to World Economic Forum Global Gender Report 2017, it will take another 200 years to achieve the gender parity.
Rampant sexual harassment is a thing that women face at workplace and other spheres of life due to a male-dominated society. Roots of this issue date back to the stereotype that women have no good role to play rather than being a sexual object. Even sexual harassment at workplace is very common; recent example of this case is Harvey Weinstein controversy that suddenly made the entertainment world in particular, conscious about the derogatory treatment with the women by their male co-workers. Despite the media attention towards the issue in the form of MeToo themed Golden Globes Awards 2018 and socio-political ceremony of Grammys 2018, there is much that needs to be done for making the world know about the real status of women.
Gender Pay Gap
Gender pay gap is real and men get paid more than the women. It is another issue that needs to be voiced on the eve of International Women’s Day 2018. It might seem that payment disparity arises due to the fact that lessor women are on higher positions than men; hence what women are lacking is the opportunity and not the right to equal pay. But, according to Payscales.com, there exists a pay gap for women and men working on the same position. In other words, women don’t get paid for all the hours they work.
Identity crises is the one major issue that women are still suffering from. In many parts of the world, especially in oriental culture women are treated as an honor of their fathers, brothers and husbands. They don’t have the free will to choose a life partner according to their choice. In different regions, marrying a person of choice makes them eligible for murder on the name of honor. The vice of honor killing is much common in Pakistan. Few years back, filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, one of the most inspirational women from Pakistan made a documentary on the issue of honor killing and earned an Oscar for it.
Objectification is another issue that needs a special attention on the eve of International Women’s Day 2018, particularly in showbiz world. A close look at the advertisements and women fashion reveals that world doesn’t want the women to wear an apparel or make them look in a way they feel comfortable, rather it makes them appear in a manner they feel attractive to the man. In many movies and promotional campaigns, women are used as an element to allure the viewers. In order to get away with objectification and label of sex symbol women need to debunk the stereotypical beauty myths that are a burden on the soul.
On the International Women’s Day 2018, activists can adopt the theme PressforProgress in a meaningful way, only if they pay attention to the genuine issues that are making women an inferior and less equal creation of God.